How to Buy Less Stuff

Many of these items (plastic and paper cups, utensils, napkins) are so cheap to produce that they automatically come with our food—even if we don’t want them to. As a result, we view these “free” materials as nearly worthless, and they go from single-use resources to “zero-use” resources: how many times have you received a straw with your drink that you didn’t use, or a clean napkin that you threw away with the rest of your meal?

Captive Overconsumers: Why We’re Stuck in a Cycle of Spending

Most Americans would agree on the counterproductiveness of needless spending, while admitting to doing so quite regularly—it is something we are all guilty of in our pursuit of pleasure. Many of us rationalize this spending as a necessary evil for a strong economy; in reality this could not be further from the truth.